If you are feeling nervous, nervous is good. All right? It makes us stop thinking about things. It makes us ready to play. If you’re nervous, that’s fine. Feel nervous.
It sometimes feels like there’s not a ton of synergy between the persona and the (generally really good!) songs — I put on the music and enjoy it a lot, but I’m nagged by the feeling that I could engage with Gaga-world a lot more fully by turning the stereo off and logging on to the internet.
The best way to describe it is I’m like this energy-gathering dynamo. I suck in the energy from the crowd and right at the point they’re drained, ready to slump over and fall over and pass out, I bring it to a crescendo and [expletive] shoot it all back at ‘em. And then I’m [expletive] slumped over and ready to pass out and they’re energized and ready for the next artist or end of the party or whatever.
The crisis in performance is, I believe, based on one simple fact. When it started, rock n roll was dance music. One day we stopped dancing to it and started listening to it and it’s been downhill ever since. We had a purpose, had a specific goal, an intention, a mandate, we made people dance or we did not work, we didn’t not get paid, we were fired, we were homeless. That requires a very different energy. To compel people to get out of their chairs and dance, it’s a working-class energy, not an artistic, intellectual, waiting-around-for-inspiration energy. It’s a get-up, go-to-work-and-kill energy. Rip it up, or die trying.
We have to start the concert at 8:00 and we have to stop sometime because the halls are rented for a certain time but the music goes on in your mind before and after you play. It’s really just an agreement you make to stop at a certain time. On record, it goes for 40 minutes because an album has these dimensions. It’s just an agreement. But really the music goes on.
This is very interesting.
Think instead of a short story written with playback in mind. Written for playback. Typing speed and rhythm are part of the experience. Dramatic deletions are part of the story. The text at 2:20 tells you something about the text at 11:13, and vice versa. What appear at first to be tiny, tentative revisions turn out to be precisely-engineered signals. At 5:15 and paragraph five, the author switches a character’s gender, triggering a chain reaction of edits in the preceding grafs, some of which have interesting (and pre-planned?) side effects.
Brian Sacawa on playing unfettered, taking classical music out of the grand halls and into alternative venues. A lot of the talk focuses on music groups reaching new audiences, but like he says, it can be great for the performers, too. It’s liberating.